Saturday, July 18, 2015
Like sheep without a shepherd
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
July 19, 2015
The disciples, sent by Jesus to proclaim his Gospel, come back enthusiastic. They need time to tell their master all they have done and taught. Apparently, Jesus wants to listen calmly and he invites them to retire "by yourselves to a quiet place to rest a while."
The people spoil their whole plan. From every village they run to find them. The quiet meeting Jesus had planned alone with his closest disciples, is no longer possible. By the time they get to the place, the crowd has invaded. How will Jesus react?
The evangelist describes his attitude in detail. Jesus is never disturbed by people. He looks at the crowd. He knows how to look not only at specific, close individuals, but also at that mass of people made up of voiceless, faceless men and women without special significance. Then compassion stirs in him. He can't avoid it. "He felt sorry for them." He bears them all deep in his heart.
He will never abandon them. He sees them as "sheep without a shepherd" -- people without guides to find the way, without prophets to hear the voice of God. Therefore, "he began to teach them" calmly, devoting time and attention to them to feed them with his healing Word.
Some day we'll have to review before Jesus, our one Lord, how we view and treat those crowds that are walking away little by little from the Church, perhaps because they aren't hearing his Gospel among us and because our speeches, statements, and declarations no longer speak to them.
Simple and good people who are disappointed in us because they don't see Jesus' compassion in us. Believers who don't know who to go to or what paths to follow to find a more humane God than the one they perceive among us. Christians who are silent because they know their words won't be taken into account by anyone important in the Church.
Some day the face of this Church will change. It will learn to act with more compassion; it will forget its own speeches and begin to listen to people's suffering. Jesus has the power to change our hearts and renew our communities.